I’ll have a brief blogging hiatus at about 3:00 EST, when I go to get ashes placed on my forehead. But I don’t plan to miss much.

Here are some midday news/views treats that don’t necessarily meet Lenten requirements:

* The Prospect‘s Abby Rapoport, who knows Texas, scolds the MSM even more than I did for its superficial coverage of yesterday’s primaries in the Lone Star State.

* In another item on Texas, MoJo’s Andy Kroll touts Democratic Lt. Gov. nominee Leticia Van de Putte as possibly a bigger star than Wendy Davis, in no small part because she has a better chance of winning in November.

* HuffPost’s Michael Calderone, details the large defections from WaPo to Ezra Klein’s new journalistic “Project X.”

* Kevin Drum takes due credit as a prophet after Vatican unveils glossy new fanzine for Pope Francis.

* Slate‘s Fred Kaplan argues Putin made big strategic blunder using force to acquire an outcome in Ukraine he might have obtained via elections.

And in non-political news:

* Bad news for Florida alligators: Australian python swallows crocodile whole.

As we break for lunch, here’s a recording of St. Thomas Aquinas’ great Lenten chant, “Pange Lingua Gloriosi.” Anglicans have an English version entitled “Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle.”

YouTube video

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.